Gimhae is located at the downstream of Nakdonggang River, which rises from Taebaek-si, Gangwondo, winds the inland of Yeongnam and flows to the south sea. Busan is on the east of Gimhae across the Nakdonggang River and Changwon is on the west with Mt. Bulmosan on the border. Gimhae was the foundation site of the old Garakguk in 42 A.D. The founder, king Kimsuro married a princess of Ayuta in India and gave two of her sons the family name 'Heo‘. The city name 'Gimhae' means 'The Gold Sea' as the family name 'Gim (the gold)' and 'Heo‘ originated here.
The family name Gim(or Kim) has the most popularity in Korea.
The area of Gimhae-si was once reduced as its Daejeo-eup, Myeongji-myeon was incorporated into Busan in 1978 and Garak-myeon and Noksan-myeon, in 1989. However, Gimhae-si and Gimhae-gun merged in 1995 and now became a rural and urban compound city with 1 Eup, 7 Myeon, and 9 Dongs as its administrative districts. As the city developed, the population grew, numbering 200,000 in 1991, and over 300,000 in July, 1997. With this trend Gimhae is expected to be the largest city in Gyeongnam with over 700,000 population around 2016.